Survey Reveals Job Interview Red Flags

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

A recent survey conducted in January 2024 has unveiled the common "red flags" encountered by job seekers during the interview process, shedding light on prevalent concerns in the job hunting landscape. With 37% of respondents reporting negative interview experiences, the study provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by candidates.

Moneypenny engaged in discussions with industry experts to analyse the survey findings. Rik Mistry, managing partner at Interval Group, and Ronnie Morris, VP Of Data, Software and AI at GR4, shared their perspectives on the significance of these red flags in the UK job market and offered practical advice on handling them effectively.

Top Red Flags Encountered by Job Seekers:

  1. Not disclosing salary – 38%
  2. Constantly rescheduling the interview – 25%
  3. Too many personal and/or irrelevant questions – 25%
  4. Interviewer disrespecting co-workers – 23%
  5. Job role differing from the initial advertisement – 18%
  6. Not answering questions correctly – 18%
  7. Interviewer seeming unprepared – 17%
  8. High staff turnover within the company – 14%
  9. Mandatory overtime or expectation of overtime work – 12%

The survey highlighted that the most significant concern, with 38% agreement, was the non-disclosure of salary during interviews. Rik emphasized that while this might be acceptable for executive or freelance roles, candidates should proactively inquire about salary expectations and reasons for the lack of disclosure. He urged candidates to conduct thorough research and communicate their salary preferences to employers confidently.

Ronnie recommended transparency regarding salary expectations and suggested providing a ballpark figure to indicate the desired salary range. For those feeling underpaid, he advised consulting recent salary reports or recruitment consultants for industry insights.

Addressing the issue of interview rescheduling, Rik proposed a "three-strike limit" approach for candidates, urging polite communication with employers to avoid repeated rescheduling.

Regarding personal or irrelevant questions, Rik acknowledged the UK's penchant for rapport-building but advised redirecting conversations back to relevant topics professionally. He suggested promptly addressing such questions and steering the discussion towards job-related matters. Ronnie stressed the importance of clear communication, advising candidates to express concerns to recruitment agencies or internal recruiters/HR personnel.

While noting similarities in red flag perceptions, Rik expressed surprise at the relatively low concern (12%) regarding mandatory overtime, hinting at potential cultural differences in job market expectations.

The survey underscores the importance of candidate empowerment and effective communication strategies in navigating potential red flag situations during job interviews. As job seekers arm themselves with knowledge and assertiveness, they can better navigate the complexities of the hiring process and secure positions aligned with their professional aspirations.